Saturday, August 15, 2009

Letting Go

My oldest son and third born child left for college today. He won't be home until the football season is over, which I'm thinking means around Thanksgiving.


I felt Sad when he left. But . . .


Honestly, I was ready for him to go. It was time. He is yearning to be independent, to make his own decisions, to do things "His Way." As I shared "war stories" with a dear friend and mother of eight this week, she shared an incredible insight. She revealed how she had always loved being pregnant, and had enjoyed feeling her growing child moving and kicking within her. Yet, she always reached a point where it just got too crowded in her womb, the baby too active, and her body so heavy-laden and miserable that she was ready to go through any amount of labor just to have that baby out!!! She likened that to the process we go through with our young adults. She said that we reach a point when our "baby" just grows too big, and it is too crowded under one roof, and we are just ready to have that "child" Out!



I think she has a valid analogy. It seems that there comes a time when it is natural for our young adults to venture out on their own, and to "try their wings," so to speak. If they do not go forth naturally at the appropriate time, it may eventually require an "induction" or even a "surgical removal" of the overdue fledgling, which is definitely more painful for all concerned!



This is not to say that we love this child of ours any less, but it is time for our relationship to change. It is time for him to learn to breathe on his own, while allowing us to breathe a little easier. Weaning is never easy, but there comes a time when each child must quit turning to his mother's breast for nourishment, but learn to eat solid food, and then eventually learn to feed himself, no matter how messy it may be. A few years down the road, he must learn to not only feed himself, but to prepare his own food, then to procure his own food, and eventually to provide food not only for himself, but also for his family. Just like weaning a nursing baby, this process brings the most satisfaction and the least amount of pain and complication if it is handled gradually, rather than abruptly.


Our son has just taken that first natural step toward independence.

It reminds me of something that Noel from Bloom Where Planted said earlier this week:

"Throughout a parent's time raising children, we must remember one thing - we are raising them to be adults and leave home. Too many parents either aren't raising their kids at all, they just have babies who grow up without guidance and training; or they expect them to stay small forever and are hurt when the young adult breaks free from the training wheels their parents have saddled on them to begin their own lives."

It was a perfect reminder to me that we shouldn't be hurt as parents when our young adults want to "take off the training wheels" and ride on their own. Of course, we know they will fall down a time or two; there will be skinned elbows and knees, and in extreme cases, even a broken arm, but we would be very foolish and short-sighted as parents not to allow our children the opportunity to learn to balance and pedal on their own. It is part of life.




A-Wise-Woman-Builds-Her-Home

9 comments:

Rebecca's Refining said...

Very well said! A good reminder about how we need to be constantly training our children...not just raising them, and how quickly the time passes!

Tereza said...

I loved this post...so true..every word of it!

Neide Colson said...

I needed to read this. My children are now 16 and 15 and thinking of their next step. I am going through the struggles of getting ready to let go. I know we (my husband and I) have invested a lot of time and our lives in theirs. We have trained them in Godly ways. But it is still hard to let go. I also know that this is a process that was designed by God, so I submit. Thanks for the encouragement!

kristilea said...

So very true. I pray he has a wonderful first year, and for God's protection and guidence. Remember, you will always be his mother, and he will still come to you for many things in the future. My mom still plays a HUGE role in my brother and I's life even though she's miles aways from both of us. We are always calling her for advise, or just a pep talk!

MOMSWEB said...

Loved the analogy. Very helpful post for all mothers.

Lainie said...

I just realized today that I only have 5 more years of schooling my oldest. I know it will be gone in a blink. Thanks for your wise words!

Kathy - mom of many said...

My oldest will go away for four weeks beginning Sunday. I'm going to miss her but I know the time will pass quickly. I'm excited for her to experience Verity on her own for the first time. She'll return to study at home the rest of the year.
I hope Taylor thrives in his new environment.

Jules said...

I read this the other day and really liked your friend's analogy. There's a lot of wisdom there! We know it's time to let them go when we start to feel the labour pains as they start pushing against the walls. The wonderful and truly amazing thing is, if we let them go, they come back. And it's better than before. But it's still not easy.

Loved your other comments too. I know this is probably hard for you but you've done a good job and now it's time to move into the next stage. And at least you've still got others at home. I look around at my friends that have only 2 or 3 children and feel sorry for them that their home is going to be empty that much sooner.

Vivianna said...

What a very wise post! I loved your comments and your friend's analogies, well everything about it.

It is a good reminder that, yes, our children to grow quickly, and by God's grace we should enjoy each stage of their lives.

Thank you for sharing; I have been blessed.

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